Speaking of Life 2036 | Hand’s On Experience
I remember when I taught my daughter how to drive a car. You can imagine how nerve-racking that was. My daughter believed that since she was good at driving go-karts, learning to drive a vehicle would be simple. She even believed that having me teach her wasn’t necessary. Although she picked it up fairly quickly, there was no way she could have learned just with her go-kart experience. She needed to be hands-on with that regular car steering wheel. She needed to feel the road and feel the car hugging the curves.
The best way to learn is often hands-on, right? We learn best when we actively participate in the learning process.
Jesus knew this about his disciples. You may have heard the story about how a great crowd showed up, and Jesus had compassion on them and healed the sick. At dusk, his disciples thought they should send the people away to buy food, but Jesus had other ideas:
That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
“Bring them here,” he said. Matthew 14:15-18 (NLT)
You probably know the rest of the story. After having the crowd sit down, Jesus gave thanks, blessed, and broke the loaves and fish, and the disciples passed the food out to the 5,000 men, plus women, and children. Everyone ate and was full, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. They had a hands-on experience where they participated in blessing others, and as a result, they learned a lot about how God’s kingdom works.
Jesus could have just told them what he was going to do. He could have explained with words how his Father was going to take those five loaves and two fish and feed all those people. Instead, he had the disciples do it. They passed out the food to all those people, and they were the ones who picked up all the leftovers.
The disciples got to participate in feeding more than 5,000 people. They saw the faces of the men, women, and children, and they watched them enjoy the food. And as a result of their hands-on experience, the disciples were transformed by being a part of the process. Their own faith was strengthened, and they learned how God’s love looks and feels.
God still works that way with us today. He lets us participate in “hands-on” acts of blessing for others so that we are transformed as part of the process. We learn, like the disciples did, that we are part of God’s kingdom on earth when we engage in hands-on participation wherever we see God at work. When we do it, whatever that hands-on participation looks like, people’s lives are changed, and so are we.
May you know the transforming power of hands-on participation with God today.
I’m Heber Ticas, Speaking of Life.